ചിത്രകാരന്റെ പെയിന്റിംങ്ങുകളുടെയും ചിത്ര വിവരണങ്ങളുടെയും സമാഹാരമായ 'അമണ' - ചരിത്രത്തിലില്ലാത്ത ചിത്രങ്ങള് എന്ന 2016 മാര്ച്ച് മാസത്തില് പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിച്ച പുസ്തകത്തിലെ ഒരു ചിത്രവും ആ ചിത്രം വരക്കാന് കാരണമായ വസ്തുതകളും ചിന്തകളുമാണ് ഈ പോസ്റ്റില് ചേര്ത്തിരിക്കുന്നത്. ചിത്രകാരന്റെ അമണ പുസ്തകം വാങ്ങി വായിക്കാന് കഴിയാതിരുന്നവരുടെ സൌകര്യാര്ത്ഥമാണ് ഈ പോസ്റ്റ്.
ഈ ചിന്തകളും ചിത്രവും ഉള്ക്കൊള്ളാന് മനസ്സില് ഇടമുള്ളവര്ക്ക് ഇമേജ് ക്ലിക്കി വലുതാക്കിയോ ഡൌണ്ലോഡ് ചെയ്തോ വായിക്കാം.
My painting "Thalappoli" post here with English translation, for friends who can not read or understand my Malayalam description about the painting. My sincere thanks to Mr. Ben J Anthrayose for arranging this English translation.
Thalappoli / താലപ്പൊലി
This picture titled ‘Thalappoli’ captures the time 1200 years ago in the history of Kerala, which is characterized by the conquest of buddhist/jainist monasteries/Biharas/temples, the brutal annihilation of the Buddhist Pali Aryans (Bhattas/Gurus/Monks) and the massacre of the important personalities among the then enlightened community of avarnas. This exploratory travel in time to illuminate the historical truths has been actualized with the help of the customs, words, fragments of memory, old sayings, names of places and remnants of history which are still existent in Malayali oral traditions.
It was after the 6th century that the casteist religion of the Shamanic Brahmins (savarna hindu/chaturvarna religion) arrived in Keala. Today’ savarna hindu religion doesn’t have a history predating this period in Kerala. Moreover, historical records show that Kerala was the heartland of Buddhist religion since 3rd century BC. Today’s prominent hindu temples of Kerala were either Buddhist-Jainist Monasteries or chaithyas, or educational centres/pallikoodam, or sangha gardens or kaavu till 8th century. During 8th and 9th centuries the brahmin bhattas/pandits, Shankaracharyas and parashuramas like kumarilabhatta brought the society under their control by defeating those who were Rajagurus/Royal gurus (Ezhava-thiyya bhattas, Vishwakarma acharyas and arayas who came to be termed ‘avarnas’ later) through obscurantist arguments, bloodshed and deception. They enthroned themselves as Rajagurus and captured Buddhist/jainist viharas,temples and commercial centres through brutal killing (The place name Kodungallur in Malayalam is formed as a compound word of ‘kodum’ (brutal), ‘kola’ (murder) and ‘ooru’ (place). The savarna religion of Brahmins established itself in Kerala by destroying the sramanic and atheistic religions of Buddhism-Jainism, the founding principles of which were non-violence, virtue and equality, pulling out the tongues of and beheading the avarnas who resisted casteism/chathurvarnya and destroying their worship places.
This visual represented in this picture arrived at through an historically aware and chronologically informed inquiry into the inception and evolution of a custom which is still in vogue in the temples of Kerala called ‘Thalappoli’ in which women are paraded as if in a fashion show. It is most likely that when the Buddhist rajagurus lost in the esoteric exchanges, the crooked manuvadi Brahmins made the king himself chop off the tongue or head of guru and disciples. ‘Thalappoli’ is the symbolic repetition of this horrific custom where women hold the blood stained skulls of Buddhists in their hands and welcome savarna brahmin pundits. With coconut symbolizing the human skull and thechi flower symbolizing blood, ‘Thalappoli’ is a ritual fossil of a history of violence in Kerala’s past.
The fact that we have never honestly ventured to study or criticize the casteist religion of violence which impelled Vivekananda to call Kerala a ‘madhouse’ is reflected in our predicament of having to carry the weight of a violent mode of culture. In a context where the racist and brahminical savarna culture not only constructs false histories as puranas and legends but negates the historical facts, the study of the social history becomes inevitable for the health of humanitarian democracy.
Painting by Murali T. , October 2013. medium: Acrylic on canvas. Size: 87 cmx59cm.
Translation of this English description is done by Mr. Ben J Anthrayose